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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, September 4, 2015 Related reading: Australia and Chinese Taipei join APEC's Cross-Border Privacy Rules System

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Do we, in Canada, do enough to protect our children’s privacy interests? I personally think there’s a lot of work still to be done in this area, starting with the need to educate parents about what is and what is not appropriate to post on social media outlets when wanting to share info about their kids. Haven’t we all seen that one parent disclose WAY too much information about their child? It’s embarrassing and potentially very damaging.

This week, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) released its findings relating to the annual GPEN sweep. The focus of the sweep, as announced back in the spring, was on websites that collect personal information of children. Clearly, from the breadth of the participation from around the world, DPAs care about this topic. The OPC, I think it’s safe to say, was one of the leaders in terms of getting important work done in the area of youth privacy. 

In terms of whether or not the sweep results in meaningful enforcement, you probably already know what I ultimately think. You’ve heard me speak before about how I think it’s odd that our anti-spam legislation contains administrative monetary penalties but our general privacy law that ostensibly must be used to protect the privacy interests of children contains no such enforcement mechanism. In fact, the most that can be done is through the creative reporting adopted by the OPC in this instance.  

While I applaud the work that went into the sweep, and the various reports that the OPC drafted—which I know have historically resulted in relatively meaningful impacts considering the tools available—I still lament the fact that those who violate the privacy rights of our children face, at the most, some negative publicity that results from being mentioned in a blog.

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